On Friday I planned to write for you all, as I would have done and as I normally do. As it was, my dear, sweet Wolfie decided weeks ago that he would surprise me for Valentine’s Day by taking the day off from work and I so decided to spend the time with him instead, it being the most romantic day and all. I tried to squeeze something together for my blog within an hour or so on Friday but honestly, you guys deserve more than a mere hour of my time and a lot more than just being written for between all the other things that I have going on. It also kind of lacked, and you all deserve only the best that I have to offer.
On Friday, we celebrated Valentine’s Day. If I’m doing to be brutally honest with you, I’ve never even remotely liked Valentine’s Day. I suppose part of it stems from the anti-consumerism stance that my parents used to have, coupled with society’s perceptions of “romance”. Combine the two, and Valentine’s Day just wasn’t for me.
Dad knows best
Bless my father, I can hear his words now in my head. “You should love her every day of the year,” he’d say. “buy her flowers just because, not because you ought to. If you don’t love her every day, one day won’t make a blind bit of difference”. He was the kind of man you could so easily look up to.
Dad’s stance was always that he would treat my mother to anything he wanted to, on any day of the year, and just because he could. Quite often he would buy freesias from ASDA (the UK’s Walmart equivalent). He got them simply because they were there, because Mum liked freesias and because he had the money to be able to – Dad needed no other reason than that, and my mother was exactly the same for him. It was those “just because” gestures that taught me much of what I come to know to be love. Whatever it is and whatever you do, do it “just because”.
What is romance, anyway?
When people think of love and romance on Valentine’s Day, it’s so easy to get caught up on the consumerism of it all. Soft plush bears, heart shaped chocolates and candies and greetings cards that convey our deepest of loves. When men walk into the stores, merchants and their suppliers must rub their hands with glee. To be the best boyfriend or husband, they would tell you, you simply must buy your woman all of these things. If you don’t, then you’ve sucked at Valentine’s Day.
As it was on Friday, Wolfie did spoil me, but he spoilt me in that way that kind of said “well, I had to get you something!”. Even if he did spoil me to some exceptionally nice chocolates, some salted caramel Baileys and the traditional dozen red roses, it sucks ass to me that he felt the need to buy them for me, because of that societal pressure. Any time we’ve done the five Love Languages test, ‘receiving gifts’ is always last for me. I’d much prefer quality time together, coupled with ‘acts of service’ – helping out around the home, just because!
Being in a BDSM relationship, one of the biggest struggles that I’ve faced is being romantic for that one damn day. Being the one who corrupted the “vanilla” (giggles), one of the biggest struggles I faced was getting Wolfie to understand that the love I had and did was different. As our fictional Dominant Christian Grey once put it, I had no interest in “hearts and flowers”. Heck, I had little more appetite for being wined and dined on Valentine’s Day- though I do have an appreciation for good food!
This year, I bought Wolfie a bottle of Aberlour 12 year old single malt whiskey, a bottle of Caroline Herrara’s “Bad Boy”aftershave (he bought me Good Girl for Christmas so I gathered why not? Unrelated to Valentine’s Day!), a new bondage set and a vibrating butt plug. As it was, I was far too stressed and stinking of blood on Valentine’s Day to actually want to do anything remotely kinky, but the intention was there. There is no way to define what romance really is, so why not give him me, all of me, for Valentine’s Day? What bigger and better gift can you possibly give?!
Too many red roses
“14th February 2016, I got you a dozen red roses” Wolfie recalled from his Facebook memories. I looked at the bunch in the crackle glass vase next to the TV, and suddenly they seemed a lot less special. I was one of the many women who received a dozen red roses (not to sound ungrateful, of course!) and had received red roses every February 14th for the past however many years. Every time red roses appear, I’m sent into a frantic search to find that vase that I just know I happen to have hidden away somewhere. About a week later, I have a vase fall of dead flowers in my lounge that could fall on me when I get rid of them, and that would just be my nightmare. As nice as the gesture is, it’s pressure that he faces from consumerism, and definitely not understanding one of the things that I am most phobic of. Roses may be romantic, but a lot less so if you happen to be phobic of flowers!
Romance in the modern era
Earlier in this post I touched upon consumerism and the pressure on men particularly to perform well in the quest to confirm their irrevocable love. Relationships can and do end over Valentine’s Day, and so for some men, it really does become a sort of ‘survival of the fittest’ scenario. Do well, prove your love and prove your worth for another year. If you do badly, you will be cast aside as the shitty boyfriend forevermore, there really is no middle ground for men on Cupid’s battlefield.
Unfortunately, I firmly believe that social media has only added to that pressure. If I were to conduct another social media experiment (do I really have to?), there would be an outlandish proportion of women on my social media feed who were bragging about and sharing photographs of the gifts that their men bought for them. I believe that these posts serve two purposes. First of all, it proves his worth as a worthwhile suitor for this woman, and secondly, it gives him the confidence and validation he needs to believe that he is worthy of her love. Without either, he is well within the danger zone for being cast aside and forgotten. Given that we depend on forming connections with each other for reproduction and survival, the pressure to not upset our mate can be an exceptionally powerful tool.
But what if we took this away? What if we took away this pressure on men to perform and prove themselves. I always like to think about that day that rocks around on 14th March, Steak & Blowjob Day. For all of those women who are so happy to snap photos and share on Facebook and Instagram to prove the lengths that their boyfriend will go to for them, how willing will they be to photograph themselves on 14th March, on their knees and with a mouthful of their boyfriend’s cum? Perhaps not, but I digress. It’s still all about love and appreciation, and that love and appreciation goes both ways, or at least it should.
The five love languages
I feel like if we’re going to talk about all things love and romance, then we really need to talk about the five love languages, and what those are. Wolfie and I are actually remarkably alike when it comes to our love languages, and so why he keeps spending money on gifts when it’s my least spoken love language is something that I will never know. I was far, far more attracted to him when he picked up some cleaning spray and wiped down the kitchen sides. He missed the hob top in its entirety, but at least he tried!
To me, and perhaps many, many other women like me, gifts really don’t mean anything. Men were forced to buy this thing from the shelves so that they didn’t feel as though they might be rejected. That’s not love! That’s peer pressure! If you want to truly love someone, find out their love language, and speak it in volumes! Only then will they feel truly loved and appreciated in the way that you intended.
The gifts that money can’t buy
As a last note, I want to pay homage to three things that we can give, that no merchant (at least, not legally) can sell us – love, trust and respect. In a any relationship, “I love you” means absolutely nothing if we can’t and don’t trust each other. It’s all just fluffwithout trust and respect, and love is something that happens sometimes when you develop such a deep level of trust, compassion and respect for someone.
As it was, Wolfie and I really didn’t do much for our Valentine’s Day. Because of my recent little health mishap, I’ve kind of not wanted to go anywhere until I stopped bleeding. Not only, but as I explained to Wolfie, everywhere will be booked up, anyway. It was traditionally our date night anyway, so I decided that I would cook spaghetti bolognese and we could watch a movie instead.
I can’t say as we fell into each other’s arms by nightfall and there was no long, tender lovemaking sessions involved. As it would be for us, our slow and tender lovemaking session was swapped for a burst of passion while we were both in the midst of some loved-up cleaning. I didn’t post anything on social media because I didn’t feel the need to. I love my husband and I know that he loves me – Facebook doesn’t need an another memory.
What are your thoughts on Valentine’s Day? Are you for it? Are you against it? How do you celebrate it? Let me know in the comments!
Be Bold, Be Bright, Be Beautiful,
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